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With the pressures of politics and pandemics over the past few months, I feel the need to de-stress in nature as much as possible. Fortunately, this time of year, that is easy. Temperatures are warming, flowers are blooming, trees are leafing out, and songbirds are singing. In Oregon we have lovely habitat diversity, which gives us more opportunity to enjoy nature’s wonders than in many other areas.

Each morning, I open my upstairs window to breathe in the freshness. I listen and watch to discover what is happening out in the yard. I take in the air, the weather, the temperature –a human barometer. 

Plants are reaching for the sun. Birds of every kind are singing their dawn chorus of happy sounds. I look and listen for new arrivals of birds. A sense of excitement and anticipation helps me start my day.

Squirrels are giving chase up, down, and around the trees. Swallows chase each other through the sky. Mourning Doves, chickadees, and Stellar Jays are paired up with their mates. Robins hunt for worms to feed their mates on the nest. Purple Finches sing from the tops of trees. Song Sparrow chicks are already begging for food. The animal world is awake and ready to face a new day.

Once I do my stretches, start the coffee, and take the dogs outside, my husband and I can take stock of what we have to be thankful for. I strive to find at least one thing that makes me happy, such as the Rufous Hummingbirds feeding at my Flowering Red Currant plants! We are lucky to live in a beautiful place like Oregon.

I feel strongly that our life in Oregon gives each of us an opportunity to connect with nature and learn to love and appreciate it. If not in the spring, then when can we better feel that interconnectedness and bond with nature? It is a healing balm for the woes of the world. It can make us feel more human and more able to love the world and people around us. We all need some of that!

Truly, love is in the air this time of year!